Visiting researchers

The School of Arts welcomes visiting researchers from other institutions at different career stages who would like to contribute to, and benefit from, our research culture.  The School has five departments: Anthropology & Archaeology, Film & TV, Music, Philosophy, and Theatre, and enjoys a vibrant research culture. 

Researchers working on their own research can be accommodated for up to a year and are strongly encouraged to participate in the research life and culture of their chosen department. Anyone with a PhD qualification is eligible to apply for Visiting Research Associate status, although acceptance is dependent on securing a hosting sponsor and department.

Visitors can benefit generally from a wealth of subject-specific and interdisciplinary resources from the School and wider University, but the following specific benefits can be gained: 

  • Development of relationships with experienced researchers and access to a wide variety of research-related events. Events and research networks exist both in the School and more widely across the Faculty and University  
  • The opportunity to participate in the life of one of our departments, all of which are home to multiple research groups; 
  • Opportunities to present your research to colleagues and postgraduates within your host department and wider School for peer support and input.   


The School of Arts charges a bench fee of £1000 per year (or pro-rata). This must be paid in advance of the researcher’s visit. 

The fee includes access to a workspace in a shared office, University of Bristol email account, access to library resources and access to talks and events open to UoB academics in line with what is described above. Please note visiting researchers are required to bring their own laptop as a desktop computer cannot always be provided. Consult with your sponsor in your host department for further information on specific resources. 

Application and Selection 

If you are interested in applying as a Visiting Research Associate, the first step is to make contact with a potential sponsor from academic members of staff within the host department. For general approaches, the current Head of Subject for each department is listed on the right-hand sideIf a sponsor agrees that your visit would be mutually beneficial, you are invited to make a short application outlining your research interests:

please complete sections A and B of the Visiting Academic Status Request form, attaching:

  1. your CV
  2. one letter of reference
  3. a summary of your research project during your time in Bristol, including brief details of proposed research question, methodology, timetable, outcomes and how the visit contributes to the School of Arts research themes and interests of individual members of staff
  4. details of the funding arrangements for your visit. If you are applying to a funding body to finance your visit, please give funder’s name, fund name, funding amount, funder deadline and any funding conditions. Please indicate whether the funding has been awarded or whether your application for funding is still pending

Once completed, please send the completed form with all the above to:

Selection will be based on the relevance of the research topic to the research themes active in that department, and final decisions will be made by the sponsor in liaison with the Head of Subject and School Research DirectorIt is expected that you will hold a PhD at the time of your visit, and a good standard of English is essential. 

If approved, you will receive a letter confirming your place as a ‘Visiting Research Associate’ and the dates of your intended stay. The payable bench fee amount will be included along with a link to the University’s online shop where you can make payment of the fee in advance of arriving at the University. 

Visiting Researchers from Overseas 

Applicants who are non-UK citizens should familiarise themselves with the guidance around visas for Temporary Workers and Visitors on the Home Office website. Further guidance can also be found on the University of Bristol website: Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5) | Human Resources | University of Bristol 

Applying through the standard visitor visa route will be your responsibility but you will need to ensure you show evidence of this when you arrive at the University. 


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